Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed has identified youth unemployment, poverty and inequality as part of the reasons responsible for insecurity and restiveness in parts of the country.
Dr Ahmed gave these reasons in an address delivered at the opening of a Two-Day International Conference on Security and Peaceful Co-existence in Nigeria organized by the State Government in Ilorin on Tuesday.
According to the Governor, “this conference must identify and examine the nexus between poverty and unemployment on one hand and insecurity and disharmony on the other, whether attributed to religion or not”.
“I add my voice to the clamour for creating more opportunities for the economic empowerment of the youth, a greater voice for the disadvantaged and a reduction in the levels of poverty prevalent in the country as a strong antidote to insecurity and a viable incentive to peaceful coexistence in the country.
“It is my view that once we reduce the number of those, especially youths, estranged from the economic benefits of our union, the population and prospects of youths available for recruitment into radicalism and violent insurgency will greatly diminish”, the governor stated.
Speaking earlier, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA), His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, CFR, who charged participants to speak the truth and come up with a Kwara model towards a peaceful coexistence , urged Nigerians to live together in harmony as “it’s not a mistake that God created us together.”
Also speaking at the two day conference, Prof. Sa’ad Nasir As-Shathri, Faculty of Shariah, Riyadh University, Saudi Arabia, called on Nigeria Muslims and Christians to form an alliance in the fight against insurgency in the country as “casualties go beyond religious or ethnic boundary.
Speaking on behalf of the Christian community, Rev. Cornelius Fawenu called for resuscitation of the Nigeria Inter-religion Council, NIREC, as a major avenue to sustaining inter-religion dialogue in the country
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